Gov. Jindal Responds to Idle National Guard Troops Issue

Barack Obama, Bobby Jindal
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Barack Obama, Bobby Jindal
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and President Obama AP

Following a CBS News Investigates report that Gulf coast governors haven't been fully utilizing the 17,500 National Guard troops authorized by the federal government to help them with the oil spill,  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's office offered a tart response.

In a statement sent to ProPublica, Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said that Louisiana would "call up more National Guard troops as the Adjutant General tells us he needs them." 

He followed up with a harsh criticism of the federal government's response efforts. 

"We spend more time fighting red tape and bureaucracy than we ever should have to if the federal government understood this oil spill as the war that it is."  

Jindal's statement doesn't address the specific question of why Louisiana is using only 1,053 of the 6,000 National Guard troops available to the state. The governor said that he would "deploy every resource" available to win the war against the BP oil spill, and complained that Coast Guard and BP authorization were required for individual tasks, which apparently slowed down the deployment of National Guard troops. However, the governor's office told CBS News that he has not specifically asked for more National Guard troops. 

Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government official in charge of the response to the BP oil spill, said, "There is nothing standing in the governor's way from utilizing more National Guard troops." The Coast Guard has typically approved requests to deploy National Guard troop in a day.

Watch Armen Keteyian's report, "The Spill Guard Deployment Holdup"

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